Texas authorities have confirmed a death toll of 26 at today’s Baptist church shooting, the largest in the state’s history, according to Governor Greg Abbott. The number does not include the shooter, who was chased by a church neighbor and found dead after crashing his car.
Victims range in age from 5 years old to 72.
Law enforcement officials, speaking at a press conference in Stockdale, Texas, would not confirm the identity of the killer, nor would they say whether he died by his own hand.
The 26-year-old killer – who police had already identified as Devin Patrick Kelley of Texas – was armed with what officials called an semi-automatic assault-type rifle. He was dressed in black and was wearing a bullet-proof vest. He had stopped at a gas station across the street from the church, crossed the road and began firing at the church, killing two people outside and 23 inside the church.
A 24th victim died while being transported to a hospital. The shooter was not included in the death toll.
Officials said the shooter was stopped and disarmed by an onlooker, then fled the scene, crashing his car. He was found shot dead inside the vehicle but police could not immediately say whether his death was self-inflicted.
Wilson Country Sheriff Joe Tackitt would not identify any victims pending notification of family.
Asked by a reporter whether the shooter had been linked to any known militia groups, Freeman Martin, Regional Director Department of Public Safety, said the matter was “being investigated” but unknown at this time.
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